Free community festival of book arts & indie publications issues revised second edition with
book arts bazaar, gallery exhibition, public sculpture project, hands-on activities for all ages
The second annual edition of Handmade & Bound Nashville, a celebration of artists’ books, zines, mini-comics and other independent publications, will unfold Friday, October 5, and Saturday, October 6, at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. The free, family-friendly festival, which is presented by the Watkins Library and Community Education department, will feature hands-on activities in the book arts, demonstrations of techniques and crafts, and dozens of vendors and distributors, in addition to a juried gallery exhibition. Last year’s success has also spawned additional programming including a community art project. All events are free and open to the public.
“We didn’t know what to expect last year at the first Handmade & Bound, but the enthusiastic response proved the book arts community in Nashville is active, extensive, and eager to interact with each other,” said Lisa Williams, director of the Watkins Library. “We welcomed an impressive array of paper makers, comics enthusiasts, book binders, zine makers and print artists, to sell their work or teach the rest of us how to do it, and this year we’re building on that by celebrating not only paper books but digital zines and books as well. While there will be lots of highly skilled artisans on hand, the festival is truly for anyone who loves stories, the printed word and reading, and appreciates the many different forms that books can take.”
New this year to Handmade & Bound, Vol. 2 is a community book sculpture, to be created by book artists and book enthusiasts at Watkins on Thursday, October 4. Volunteers of all skill levels are invited to come by from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to sort books and participate in the construction of a spiral-staircase sculpture (power tool tutorial available). The goal is to incorporate 1,000 books into the artwork, which will remain on display throughout October.
On Friday, October 5, the festival’s juried book arts and zine exhibition, Familiar Relics, will open in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on campus with a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Submissions are currently being accepted for Familiar Relics, with artists invited to submit works that speak both to the familiarity and the evolution of the book.
Per the exhibition theme: Books are no longer bound by paper substrate; digital books, downloadable print, and electronic media have all permeated our cultural landscape, altering the delivery of images and written words. Books are relics, yet constantly changing and with that change come new possibilities.
Curated by local book artists and instructors Annie Herlocker and Jennifer Knowles-McQuistion, Familiar Relics will run through October 20. A closing weekend reception and panel discussion on the future of the book in the face of new technologies will be held on Friday, October 19; more details to be announced.
On Saturday, October 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., creators of artists’ books, publishers and distributors of zines and comics, and book aficionados will come together to sell, trade and buy handmade and affordable publications, printed matter and book-themed creations at the book arts bazaar. The day will also feature demonstrations and hands-on activities for children and adults in printmaking, papermaking, book- and zine-making and screenprinting, as well as live music and food trucks.
For information including schedules, vendor table registration and exhibition submissions, visit handmadeboundnashville.com and Handmade & Bound Nashville on Facebook, or contact the Watkins Library at 615.277.7427.
The festival is an official, registered event of Artober Nashville, a broadly collaborative promotional initiative designed to highlight, inform and inspire the community’s participation in the wide range of arts activities offered in the Nashville area during the month of October (NowPlayingNashville.com).
Handmade & Bound Nashville, Vol. 2 is presented by the librarians and staff of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, the Watkins Community Education department, and local librarians and book artists, and supported in part by a grant from the William N. Rollins Fund for the Arts of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Joining as partners this year are the Nashville Public Library, whose Wilson Limited Editions Collection contains more than 800 limited edition books (library.nashville.org), and Turnip Green Creative Reuse, a nonprofit designed to divert useable material from landfills for creative endeavors through innovative programming (turnipgreencreativereuse.org).
Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in Metro Center; free parking is available in the campus lot.
- What’s an artist’s book? An artist’s book is a work of art realized in a book-like format. They are usually one-of-a-kind creations or published in small editions, and can employ a form other than bound printed sheet.
- What’s a zine? A zine (pronounced “zeen,” as in “magazine”) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet or magazine, usually produced by one person or a few individuals. Zines range from small photocopied booklets, to handwritten or handmade booklets, to magazine-like publications.
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is a four-year baccalaureate college offering a studio-based curriculum for its Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs in Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Photography, its Bachelor of Arts in Art, and its Certificate in Film. The faculty and staff are committed to a learning-centered environment that challenges students to engage the mind, train the eye and cultivate talent and skill into an active realization of creative potential.
Established in 1885 as a community-based learning institution, Watkins became a baccalaureate college in 1997, and it continues to shape and positively influence the cultural horizon and economy of our community through art, design and film instruction in an academic setting, as well as through the Community Education program for youth, teens and adults. Watkins is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and by National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film receives funding from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.